The first seven days (one third of the course) involved practicing Anapana meditation (observation of breath). As usual, after about three days, my mind began clearing, and my samadhi (concentration) became quite strong. It is hard to describe what happens when the mind is held to attention over long periods for so many days. It can be quite profound.
Twice during the 20 days, we were asked to check in with the teacher. These were the only times during the course that I uttered any words. On day five, there was a note at my spot in the dinning room, asking me to interview with the teacher. When I sat down with him, he asked me how my concentration was doing. I proceeded to tell him that if he’d asked me the day before, I would have told him I was achieving very deep levels of samadhi and thought things were going very well.